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Bigger loads: trike vs. xtracycle

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Bigger loads: trike vs. xtracycle

Old 02-15-06, 07:50 PM
  #1  
PhattTyre
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Bigger loads: trike vs. xtracycle

I want a bike that can carry bigger loads. It'd probably be bigger grocery store runs and moving drafting/drawing supplies in and out of studio at school. I don't have anything too specific in mind that I'd be carrying, it's just that I can only put so much in a big bag on my back. I was thinking of an Xtracycle because I recently came across a free steel mtb frame and I have enough spare parts to build it up, so I'd only need the Xtracycle kit itself. I mentioned this to my boss and he said he had an old Schwinn 3 speed trike he'd give me, but it'd need to have the rear wheels rebuilt. The trike would be cheaper to fix up than buying an Xtracycle, but not a whole lot because I get a discount on bike stuff and can do any labor myself. The trike seems more akward to have, store, and get around on... plus it's a trike. Anyone out there use an Xtracycle or a trike to carry loads? What are your experiences with them? What would any of you recommend from both a financial and usability point of view?
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Old 02-15-06, 08:20 PM
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xtracycle, hands-down.

to be fair, i'd have to have tried the broken-down 3-speed give-away granny trike to be so confident, but i'm pretty sure it can't compete: https://xtracycle.com/gallery/view_al...ame=real_loads . can the trike take corners at 30 with a passenger? does the trike weigh more than about 30-35lbs?

Last edited by tfahrner; 02-15-06 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tfahrner
xtracycle, hands-down.

to be fair, i'd have to have tried both the broken-down 3-speed give-away granny trike to be so confident, but i'm pretty sure it can't compete: https://xtracycle.com/gallery/view_al...ame=real_loads . can the trike take corners at 30 with a passenger? does the trike weigh more than about 30-35lbs?
I would have to agree. We use heavy steel tricycles where I work, to haul equipment around our large facility. They are not suitable for riding on the street in the average American city: too slow, wide and clumsy. You would be challenged to ride up the slightest grade even with no cargo. They are very prone to tipping over if you corner at more than walking speed. I have carried five gallon buckets of drywall compound and paint, small pieces of furniture, and large tools on an xtracycle, and while it's heavy work it is way more practical and useful than a tricycle.
In a large factory or industrial facility with no vehicle traffic, the tricycles are very useful.

Last edited by pmseattle; 02-15-06 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Just wanted to add something.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:47 AM
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A much more useful choice would be a bicycle trailer.
You would have the best of both worlds with a trailer.

You can build our own or buy one ready made but give
a trailer some thought before you invest in a complete
new set of wheels, mate.

Some interesting reading...........

https://www.ucolick.org/~de/AltTrans/index2.html
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Old 02-16-06, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tightwad
A much more useful choice would be a bicycle trailer.
You would have the best of both worlds with a trailer.
A trailer may be more suitable for some applications (e.g., hauling bulky items), but it's certainly not "more useful" all around.

I have an xtracycle on a front-suspension mountain bike as my primary ride. It's always there if I decide to stop at the store on my way home. I can load it up with 50+ lbs of gear on procede to fly over potholes at 20mph and take a shortcut over an unpaved trail. It rides like bike...there's just more momentum when it's loaded. Once you get used to it, the momentum actually makes for a more stable ride.

My girlfriend recently got a trailer. She likes it, but she has to be careful of her route when using it. It makes her a bit wider, and tends to bounce around when not loaded. Here in Houston we don't have any hills to speak of, but I wonder about the handling when loaded on a steep descent.

I vote for xtracycle. You'll find you start using the bike in ways you would not have imagined.
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Old 02-17-06, 05:43 AM
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How much stuff do you want to carry?

https://organicengines.com/SUV/index.htm

jg
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Old 02-17-06, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ojgville
How much stuff do you want to carry?

https://organicengines.com/SUV/index.htm

jg
Not that much. Those things are cool. There's a company here in Eugene called Eugene Bicycle Works (part of the Center for Appropriate Transport) that makes something very similar. They also have a delivery service, so you see them all over town. I think they're rated for over 300#.

https://www.catoregon.org/bikeworks.htm
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Old 02-19-06, 05:40 AM
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Here in Sweden (at least Uppsala) a lot of mail is delivered by bicycle or motorized trike. Most of the people I see have gigantic front racks, but they are definitely on two wheels.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:03 AM
  #9  
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I do not want to dissuade anyone from considering the extracycle or trike options, but I find that big Wald wire baskets work for most of the things I want to carry on a bike. You can put a 18x24 sketch pad in a big portfolio across the top without bending it, and there is a lot of room for groceries.

Here in Knoxville, I would not seriously consider a trike or a two-wheel trailer because there is hardly room on the road for a two-wheeled vehicle. For the same reason, I would not try to carry some of the loads that are possible on an extracycle. But in Eugene, you have a lot more space, and more viable options.

I have often wondered about the practicality of a utility trike on the road. If I were in your situation I might just go for the trike to see how it worked. Surely you could find a Saturday Market vendor or somesuch to sell it to if it did not work out.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo
I do not want to dissuade anyone from considering the extracycle or trike options, but I find that big Wald wire baskets work for most of the things I want to carry on a bike. You can put a 18x24 sketch pad in a big portfolio across the top without bending it, and there is a lot of room for groceries.

Here in Knoxville, I would not seriously consider a trike or a two-wheel trailer because there is hardly room on the road for a two-wheeled vehicle. For the same reason, I would not try to carry some of the loads that are possible on an extracycle. But in Eugene, you have a lot more space, and more viable options.

I have often wondered about the practicality of a utility trike on the road. If I were in your situation I might just go for the trike to see how it worked. Surely you could find a Saturday Market vendor or somesuch to sell it to if it did not work out.
I've dropped the trike idea. It'd probably be fine on the smaller roads here in Eugene, but still a pain. Just the thought of getting it through the gate in the backyard was enough to change my mind. It might make a cool chopper project, but I couldn't bring myself to hack up a schwinn. I'm considering a BOB trailer now. It'd give me the chance to carry loads around town and even tour with a light road bike. The Xtracycle (at least how I'd build it) wouldn't really lend itself to long trips, but I think it'd be a little easier around town and I could carry more (even people).
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Old 03-03-10, 10:14 PM
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homemade extracycle

I live in eugene as well and i do use a trailor sometimes. for everyday use made my own extracycle out of a mountain bike brame and the rear triangle of another bike. similar and insipred by this set on instructables:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Home...lity-Bike-SUB/

i recommend using a 20" wheel on the back and mounting a shopping cart over it. i put a seat in mine and ride this kid around some.

it is a community bike and is often tied up with the tall bikes in front of the bicycle church on fourth and adams if you want to check it out.

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Old 03-04-10, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by PhattTyre
I want a bike that can carry bigger loads. It'd probably be bigger grocery store runs and moving drafting/drawing supplies in and out of studio at school. I don't have anything too specific in mind that I'd be carrying, it's just that I can only put so much in a big bag on my back. I was thinking of an Xtracycle because I recently came across a free steel mtb frame and I have enough spare parts to build it up, so I'd only need the Xtracycle kit itself. I mentioned this to my boss and he said he had an old Schwinn 3 speed trike he'd give me, but it'd need to have the rear wheels rebuilt. The trike would be cheaper to fix up than buying an Xtracycle, but not a whole lot because I get a discount on bike stuff and can do any labor myself. The trike seems more akward to have, store, and get around on... plus it's a trike. Anyone out there use an Xtracycle or a trike to carry loads? What are your experiences with them? What would any of you recommend from both a financial and usability point of view?
Okay, this is the old thread apparently back from the dead and I figure I'll throw in my two cents. For the detractors out there that call trikes "tippy" and unwieldy in the city it sure sounds like most of you have not riden one in the city. Since 07 I have owned a Schwinn Town & Country trike that I've used for grocery duty as well as miscellaneous bulky cargo. I'm in Houston Texas by the way. Any vehicle can be "tippy" if you don't understand the dynamics of piloting it and a tricycle is no different. As long as you remember that a body in motion tends to stay in motion and to shift your weight accordingly when making a turn, a tricycle will track both level and stable. Granted, as for speed I wouldn't want to take my trike down the I-10 feeder; however, for the under 10 mile range of a cargo hauler it rides acceptably well in traffic.

An xtracycle/Big Dummy is not free of its own trade-offs. It has a very long wheelbase; consequently, you have to be mindful of the rear wheel in a sharp turn and ensure that you don't clip the curb. Carrying a cooler (which is a necessity here in warmer climates when grocery shopping) is a little more awkward. To do so you need wide loaders to strap cooler to one side and then until you have weight to counteract it the handling will be a little off as the bike will pull to the side that has got the cooler strapped to it.

If I were tied to just one bike then yes I probably would get an xtracycle/big dummy especially if I were living in an apartment where space is at a premium, but if you have the space then the old equation of N+1 is a good way of going.
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Old 03-05-10, 06:41 PM
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Check out the Kona UTE. Very reasonably priced.
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Old 03-07-10, 01:37 PM
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I've been operating for years with the BOB single axle trailer. It doesn't require a new bike, and can haul over 75 lbs. and up to 100 lbs in my experience. It keeps the weight low to the ground and gives you the extra axle for supporting the load. Last night, for example, I hauled a 50 lb. bag of wheat flour and a variety of other bulk produce in a tote on the BOB for six miles through Anchorage snow and ice.
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Old 03-07-10, 01:47 PM
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Also in Eugene: Burley 2 wheeled bike trailers.
Their latest looks like a small wheeled golf cart; you can wheel it into the store, buy and then attach it to seatpost mount and pedal off!.
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Old 03-07-10, 02:31 PM
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Xtracycle.
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Old 03-07-10, 05:53 PM
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I would go with a trailer as well. Ok I have already gone with a trailer. But the reasoning is the same as some have mentioned. You can modify many trailers for whatever your hauling needs might be and when you are done with the task at hand you can disconnect the trailer and still have a bike that does whatever it did before you added the trailer. With a Big Dummy or Xtracycle you will always be on a big long bike even when you donít need it. Unless the bike is part of your N+1 and you only ride it to haul things. IMO.
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Old 03-07-10, 08:33 PM
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I used a bob trailer until I switched the bike to an Xtracycle. Now I never use the bob trailer. The trailer made my bike much longer than an Xtracycle and the bob is great for groceries but for picking up strange unwieldy loads, it was no good, while I use the Xtra for tools and trips for remodel supplies all the time, including 10 foot long pipe. I need to get on a regular length bike again, I guess, because I never noticed the difference of the length of the Xtra except I can't jump logs in the woods. I took an adult bicycle safety course recently and I wasn't able to maneuver quite as well as a short bike but on a day to day level, you would never know. The only problem I see is some bus racks might not be able to take them.
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Old 03-07-10, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by crackerdog
I used a bob trailer until I switched the bike to an Xtracycle. Now I never use the bob trailer. The trailer made my bike much longer than an Xtracycle and the bob is great for groceries but for picking up strange unwieldy loads, it was no good, while I use the Xtra for tools and trips for remodel supplies all the time, including 10 foot long pipe. I need to get on a regular length bike again, I guess, because I never noticed the difference of the length of the Xtra except I can't jump logs in the woods. I took an adult bicycle safety course recently and I wasn't able to maneuver quite as well as a short bike but on a day to day level, you would never know. The only problem I see is some bus racks might not be able to take them.

I had a similar problem when I thought about getting a big wheel low rider “bent”. They ride great but are hard to carry on most bike racks.
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Old 03-08-10, 03:06 AM
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125-150lbs a few days after putting her together. Worked out great, have since giving people rides all over the place.





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Old 03-08-10, 05:23 AM
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As an ex-owner of a long bike, and current of multiple trailers, I'll throw in my 2cents worth, even though it won't be popular in this xtracyclecentric forum....

I like the long bike/xtracycle concept, it's a truly innovative idea in the world of utility cycling. It effectively turns your bike into a small truck all the time which means that you have to live with the performance compromises it entails all the time. If you require the carrying capacity most or all of the time then it's fine, but if only need it occasionally then it's just like choosing to live next door to the airport directly under the flightpath because it will be convenient on the rare occasion that you need to catch a plane.

So, if you only need large carrying capacity occasionally then a trailer makes much more sense, and a trailer will give you significantly more carrying capacity and usable volume than a long bike. Furthermore, you can have more than one trailer if you really need the diversity of options, without any performance hit whatsoever when you're not using them.

I hook up my trailer at least once, often twice a week, but even then it represents a minuscule percentage of my weekly miles. I sure as heck can't justify the performance hit of a long bike. I tried the long bike option, but ultimately I found the trailer option to be superior in almost all respects.
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